Scores of Year 5 primary school students in the city who have demonstrated an interest in drama, art and music were recently invited to All Saints Academy Plymouth for
its second annual Primary Arts Festival to enjoy the excitement and buzz of a carnival atmosphere and take part in some circus fun.
Using the visual, performing and musical arts as a platform, the young visitors were encouraged to drop their guards to learn something new and build their creative confidence.
The All Saints' Creative Arts team, headed by Steve Cowin, ensured pupils from its neighbouring primary schools (Riverside, Shakespeare and Pennycross) had a great
learning experience on their carousel of creative workshops where they were given the opportunity to experiment with all the sounds, colours, rhythms and movement
of a carnival. Activities included mask making and playing in a Samba band. They also practised a wide range of skills with a circus performer from SPLATS who
taught them how to perform a variety of tricks including the Diablo, juggling, feather balancing, plate and ribbon spinning with the help of All Saints staff and
"Varied, fun and interesting!" said visiting teaching assistant Karen Whiting from Shakespeare Primary School. "They threw themselves into the circus skills and
thoroughly enjoyed the day," she added.
"I really enjoyed being here. I made a mask based on the style of a computer game and my favourite activity was the circus skills; I was good at the plate balancing!”
said Scarlett, a Yr. 5 pupil from Shakespeare Primary school.
“I've designed my mask to look as if you were looking up at the stars,” added Kira, a Yr 5. pupil from Shakespeare Primary School.
An effective educational tool which promotes cross curricular education, the value of learning circus skills is broad. Benefits include improved concentration, information
retention, concept visualisation, hand eye coordination and self-awareness with the core skills of learning and practising a challenging and creative activity
boosting self-esteem and being positively used in social situations and the academic areas of education.
"The circus and carnival theme was a brilliant choice and gave us a wealth of exciting content for the festival to engage, entertain and inspire everyone involved,"
said Steve Cowin, head of All Saints' Creative Arts department.
“The creative arts provide a fun gateway into positive learning and are a powerful way to help children explore the wider world," says Gary Futcher, All Saints'
headteacher. Before entering his teacher training, Gary studied English and Drama and enjoyed a successful marketing career in theatre. “Pushing boundaries to
master a new skill is a great confidence booster for young people which they can benefit from for the rest of their school lives and apply to their learning
across the whole curriculum," he added.
As part of its commitment to the development of collaborative learning experiences, All Saints Academy Plymouth hosts a programme of initiatives and activities
designed to raise aspirations and enhance the financial awareness, enterprise, creative, STEM and life skills of primary school pupils across Plymouth.